Medical Dictionary: Hemochromatosis diabetes


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Hemochromatosis diabetes: Diabetes caused by an underlying case of hemochromatosis
Introduction: Haemochromatosis or Iron Overload is a rare 1-in-200 genetic inherited disorder where the body absorbs too much iron, and this excess iron can damage body cells, including the pancreas, liver and heart. When pancreas cells are damaged, this can lead to diabetes, either mild or extreme depending on how badly damaged the pancreas has become. Thus haemochromatosis-caused diabetes can mimic the severity of either Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Note that the high iron levels from haemochromatosis can cause the HbA1c test to be wrongly low or normal, even if the person has high blood sugars. Also, haemochromatosis is not more likely in diabetics than in the normal population, so it is still rare in diabetics. But despite the low 1-in-200 (0.5%) odds, it is desirable to check for this, since if you do have this rare disease, treating the iron levels from haemochromatosis can often halt and sometimes reverse or cure the diabetes. Haemochromatosis can be easily diagnosed by an "iron studies" blood test, and is fully treatable by by doing repeated blood donations.
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